|The Municipality of Balsas|
|Nickname(s): "Bls", "Balsinhas de Açúcar", "Princesinha do Sul do Maranhão", "Capital da Agricultura e da Lavoura Mecanizada" ("Bls", "Little Sugar Ferries", "Little Princess of Southern Maranhão", "Capital of the Mechanized Agriculture")|
Location of Balsas in the State of Maranhão
|Founded||March 22, 1918|
|• Mayor||Francisco de Assis Milhomem Coelho (PMDB)|
|• Total||13,141.637 km2 (5,074.014 sq mi)|
|Elevation||283 m (928 ft)|
|• Density||6.6/km2 (17/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|HDI (2000)||0.696 – medium|
Balsas covers an area of 13,141.64 km², being the largest municipality in Maranhão. The median elevation of the city is 283 meters (810 ft).
Balsas has a Savanna tropical climate. Temperature is hot from April through October. It rains from November through March.
Cerrado is the typical vegetation of the area. However, due to the advance of agricultural activities, the ecosystems is threatened.
There are many streams and rivers in the municipality, but the most important is Rio Balsas, which crosses the city.
According to 2001 census, Balsas has 60,613 inhabitants. 82.73% live in Urban areas. The infant mortality rate is 35.1 deaths /1,000 live births and life expectancy is 64.1 years.
The annual median growth of the population is 4.21%. In 2007 the population was over 78,000 inhabitants. The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Balsas.